In This Issue:

  • Special February Promotion – The COM-MU’-NI-CA’-TION GAME
  • Online Registration Available for Upcoming Fatherhood Trainings
  • Program Spotlight
  • Special Request – What Do You Love Most About Working
    with Fathers?
  • Mark Your Calendar for an At-Home Dads Brainstorming Session
  • January Featured Father
  • Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence Campaign Updates
  • Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives
  • Upcoming Events

Special February
Promotion – The
COM-MU’-NI-CA’-TION Game

As heart-shaped chocolates, flowers and love notes begin to appear in stores and schools, it’s important for Colorado dads to remember the other women in their lives – their daughters. According to the National Center for Fathering, girls who have fathers who are actively and positively involved in their lives do better in school, are more likely to become confident adults and less likely to become sexually active at an early age. This February, Colorado dads are encouraged to spend time with their daughters by playing the COM-MU’-NI-CA’-TION together.

The COM-MU’-NI-CA’-TION Game is specifically designed for fathers of daughters ages 10 or older. It consists of 365 thought-provoking cards and a journal. The fill-in-the-blank cards are sorted into 26 packets, which are organized in alphabetical order. To begin, a father and daughter are instructed to go to a restaurant that begins with or contains the letter corresponding to a specific packet of cards. Each month another packet is used and another restaurant is chosen.

Each game card contains a question where the respondent, either the father or the daughter, must answer in an open-ended way. For instance, “I’ll never forget the time you _______,”. The bottom of each card says, “I say that because _____,” which allows for both participants to elaborate on their feelings, give a reason for their previous answer and continue to open up conversation. 

Throughout February 2009, Colorado dads can purchase the COM-MU’-NI-CA’-TION Game for a discounted price of $24.95 on the Colorado Dads Web site. A list of Colorado restaurants promoting the game and handing out individual game packets in February can also be found on the site.

 

Online Registration Available for
Upcoming Fatherhood Trainings

The Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative will continue to host fatherhood trainings for practitioners across the State over the next few months. Online registration is now available for the following trainings:

Caring Dads Program
February 17-18, 2009
Volunteers of America
2660 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

“Caring Dads: Helping Fathers Value Their Children” is an intervention program designed for men who have abused or neglected their children or exposed them to abuse of their mothers. Developed and piloted over five years, this 17-session group program draws from best practices in the fields of batterer intervention, parenting, behavior change, child maltreatment and working with resistant clients.

Presenter: Tim Kelly

Tim Kelly is a co-developer of the Caring Dads Program and is the executive director of Changing Ways, Inc., in London, Ontario – the lead pilot agency for the Caring Dads Program. As the lead pilot agency, Changing Ways coordinates the implementation of the Caring Dads Program in London, develops policies for the involvement of other agency partners, provides training to potential group facilitators and hosts Caring Dads Advisory Committee meetings. Changing Ways has worked with abusive and at-risk men to help end violence for more than 20 years.

Nurturing Fathers Program Facilitator Training
March 26-27, 2009
The Gill Foundation
315 East Costilla Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

The Nurturing Fathers Program is one of the most successful fatherhood programs developed in the country. The 13-week program is designed to teach parenting and nurturing skills to men who are then able to grow from a distant or uninvolved father to an involved, emotionally and physically present father.

Presenters include: Rich Batten and Ken Sanders

Rich has worked with parents for the last 20 years. He works as a fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services where he currently serves as the administrator of the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Community Access Grant. He has maintained certification as a Family Life Educator (CFLE) by the National Council on Family Relations since 1998.

Ken is the program director of the Center on Fathering. The Center, created by the El Paso County Department of Human Services 1995, provides comprehensive services to fathers and their families in the Pikes Peak region.

24/7 Dad and Inside Out Dad Curriculum Trainings
April 7- 8, 2009
Hope For Children, Inc.
Family Strengthening Center
801 W. 4th Street, Suite 104
Pueblo, CO 81003

The 24/7 Dad and Inside Out Dad curricula were both developed by the National Fatherhood Initiative. Inside Out Dad is a re-entry program that provides practical and innovative ways to help overcome the physical and psychological challenges that incarcerated fathers face Inside (while incarcerated) and Out (after release). 24/7 Dad is the National Fatherhood Initiative’s foundational program.

Presenters include: John Holmberg PsyD, Jerome Perkins and others.

John Holmberg, Psy.D., is a father of two and a clinical psychologist with expertise in community-based family interventions. For the past seven years, he has been a researcher at the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health at the University of Colorado. Dr. Holmberg is a trainer of the National Fatherhood Initiative's Dr. Dad and Inside Out Dad curricula. Recently, he joined a collaborative which is developing the imDAD program, an interactive visually-based fatherhood curriculum for first-time, low-income fathers.

Jerome Perkins is an ordained pastor who has been involved in prison ministry and education for the past 15 years. He has developed and implemented several transition homes in partnership with the Colorado Department of Corrections and Beacon Behind Bars.

The fee for non Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Community Access Programs (PRF) has been waived for the Caring Dads Program training. It is limited to the first 30 registrants, with a maximum of three people per agency. The registration fee for the March and April trainings is waived for all currently funded PRF programs. The cost to attend these trainings for all other programs is $150 per person, per training (continental breakfasts and lunches are included in registration) unless otherwise noted. Transportation, dinner and hotel accommodations are the responsibility of all registrants (including PRF funded programs).

 

Program Spotlight – Northeast Denver Islamic Center Fatherhood Program – Denver

1. What services do you provide to fathers with your community access grant funding?

Individual counseling is provided for fathers and family counseling is also available. Our parenting classes focus on the “Inside Out Dad” curriculum. On site classes are provided for fathers re-entering the community from prison. We also offer classes in local jails to those who are still incarcerated. Other resources available to our clients include clothing, housing and job readiness assistance.

2. What do you ultimately want to achieve with your program?

We want to see healthy, intelligent, productive fathers who are able to support their families morally, intellectually and financially. We strive to assist with the reestablishment of the individual self and family while also creating a community that is contributing to society.

3. Describe at typical day at the Northeast Denver Islamic Center.

Our day begins by checking emails, returning phone calls and preparing for various client and class needs. This includes interviewing potential clients and counseling enrolled clients. We also create flyers and written information about our program to distribute to the community. We often make presentations to parole officers and other programs throughout Denver.

4. What is the best part about working with fathers?

The best part is establishing a working relationship with dads as they seriously consider how to improve their individual lives and their family’s life. It is very rewarding to see people encouraged to live successful and productive lives. To see fathers break through false, artificial barriers and openly discuss things with one another is incredibly gratifying.

5. Share a program/father success story with us.

There is one particular father that comes to mind. In the past, he’s struggled with a substance abuse problem that strained his relationship with his son. He spent years in and out of prison but recently he was able to find temporary housing and employment. This progress increased his own sense of personal worth and endeared him to his son.  He has fulfilled all of the Department of Correction’s requirements and will be graduating from our class in the near future.

 

Special Request –
What Do You Love Most About Working with Fathers?

The Colorado Dads Watercooler blog serves as a place where fathers and fatherhood practitioners can post their views of fatherhood and family. To commemorate the start of a new year, we are looking for feedback from fatherhood practitioners on their incredibly important daily work.

What do you love about working with fathers? Is it helping them turn their lives around? Or seeing them build stronger relationships with their children?

Submissions should be 500 words or less. All entries should be e-mailed to Maggie Spain. Entries must be submitted by March 15, 2009. The top entries will be selected to appear in the Watercooler blog throughout April and May 2009.

 

Mark Your Calendars for
an At-Home Dads
Brainstorming Session

According to a recent USA Today article, there are more than 150,000 stay-at-home dads living in the United States today. As that number rises, fathers are searching for support in increasing numbers.

We invite you to join us for an at-home dads brainstorming session on Tuesday, February 3. This open-ended discussion will focus on such topics as outreach to stay-at-home dads, joining a “mother/toddler” group and getting involved in the community.

At-Home Dads Brainstorming Session
Tuesday, February 3
6:00 p.m.
1755 High Street
Denver, CO 80218

Please call Maggie Spain at 303.320.7790 to RSVP for this brainstorm.

 

January Featured Father – Lloyd Lewis

Arc Thrift Stores president Lloyd Lewis is the most recent dad featured on the Colorado Dads Web site. A father of four, Lloyd enjoys laughing and reading with his young sons at home.

What is the best part of being a dad?
      
I get to see a different way of appreciating life through my children. Kennedy has a natural, innate ability to love and appreciate people. He hugs everyone! That’s something I learn from.

What kind of dad do you strive to be?

I strive to always accept and be proud of my kids. I want to be someone who helps create a society where they are appreciated and loved. I want to make the world easier for them. Since the moment my boys were born, I wasn’t afraid of their needs. They’ve always been a positive and I want others to understand that.

 

Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence Campaign Updates 

The Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence (CMADV) campaign recently reached a significant milestone. In just four short months, more than 100 individuals have pledged their commitment to ending domestic violence by signing our online pledge form.

The Be There for Your Kids campaign is continuing to encourage men to participate in the CMADV campaign. Take the first step by signing our pledge at www.coloradodads.com. A hard copy pledge form is also available at various community organizations and social service agencies statewide.

Additional links to domestic violence agencies, national resources and mentoring assistance for young men – including a new toolkit on how to work with men and boys - are available on the Colorado Dads Web site.

If your program has received any completed CMADV hard copy pledge forms, please mail them back to this address at your convenience:

Rich Batten
Colorado Department of Human Services
1575 Sherman St., 3rd Floor
Denver, CO 80203

We will then enter the information on each form into our online pledge database.

 

Subscribe to the Latest Be There for Your Kids Public Awareness Campaign Initiatives

Our public awareness campaign strives to get the message of responsible fatherhood out to local communities in a variety of ways.

The Fastbreak for Fathers blog, written by Rich Batten, fatherhood and family specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services, is updated on a regular basis. Recent topics include the importance of hope and dreams and recap of the 2008 public awareness campaign. Become a subscriber of the blog and you will receive automatic e-mail announcements when it is updated.

As online social networking Web sites continue to connect various groups throughout the country, the Be There for Your Kids campaign has created our own fatherhood Facebook and MySpace pages as well as a YouTube channel. We are looking for new fans of these pages to comment on recent fatherhood  notes and videos and discuss relevant topics in the discussion boards.

We are also excited to announce the availability of new English and Spanish campaign posters. Please e-mail Maggie Spain at maggie@morethanpr.com if your organization is interested in receiving a set of posters.

Upcoming Events

International Conference on Parent Education and Parenting
University of North Texas
February 12-14, 2009

Day one of this conference will feature workshops and “how-to” sessions with Wally Goddard, Ph.D., professor of family life at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Day two will be an informative day, with updates on parent education programs and parenting from around the world. Keynote speaker Jay Fagan, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Social Administration at Temple University will present “Parent Education for Fathers: Lessons Learned from Research.” The final day of the conference will focus on research and policy making with an international focus. The keynote speech, “Fathers at the Frontier: The Impact of Social Policy on Men’s Involvement in Child Care in Sweden”, will be given by Linda Haas, Ph.D., professor of sociology and women studies at Indiana University.

3rd Annual AMEND Institute
El Jebel Shrine
Denver, CO
March 11-13, 2009

The AMEND Institute aims to present advanced and basic training for domestic violence treatment providers, addictions counselors, victim advocates and those entering the domestic violence counseling field. Speakers from the community who are interested in presenting at this training are invited to submit proposals by February 6, 2009.

 

Regional Fatherhood Forums

Northern Colorado Dads Fatherhood Forum
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Tyler Osterhaus, Family Focus Program Manager, Weld County Department of Social Services, Family Focused Prevention Unit at 970.352.1551 X622.

Arkansas River Area Fatherhood Team
A monthly meeting in Pueblo or Cañon City for lunch, encouragement and for sharing ideas related to working with fathers. For more information, contact
George Hoherd from the Community Partnership for Child Development at 719.635.1536 x262.

Southwest Fatherhood Coordination Council
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Diana Buza from The Pinon Project at 970.564.1195 x41.

Northwest Fatherhood Forum
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Steve Aurand from Garfield County Department of Human Services at 970.625.5282 x624.

Northeast Fatherhood Forum
Time and dates to be determined. For more information, contact Jackie Reynolds from Rural Solutions at 970.526.3216.

Check out coloradodads.com to register for free or low-cost opportunities for dads to connect with their kids. Current offers include:
. . .

Free admission to the Denver Botanic Gardens. 

Free movie passes to any Kerasotes Movie Theatre in Colorado.

10 percent off any Arkansas River tour booked in 2009.

. . .


Each month, coloradodads.com is excited to profile a Colorado dad and his view of fatherhood. If you know of a Dad who works hard to be there for his kids and should be profiled on the Colorado dads Web site, please contact Maggie Spain.


To speak with someone directly about fatherhood support services, please call:

1.877.695.7996 (English)
or 1.866.527.3264 (Spanish).

Trained volunteers from Families First staff this line.

To speak with someone directly regarding the Be There For Your Kids public awareness campaign or the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, please contact an individual listed below.

Colorado Department of Human Services Contact Information:
Rich Batten
Fatherhood Specialist
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Email

Mary Roberto
Manager, Family Strengthening Section
Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division
303.866.2641
Email

The Bawmann Group Contacts:
(regarding the public awareness campaign materials – Web site, advertising and media relations).

Jennifer Nuhfer
Vice President of Communications
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790
Email

Maggie Spain
Account Manager
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790
Email